The countdown is on for the 2020 Backing Business Forum coming to the Orange Ex-Services Club next week on Friday, 20 November 2020.

The all-day event, organised by Regional Development Australia (RDA) Central West, is aimed at small and medium businesses across the region and designed to build resilience and support business growth.

RDA Central West CEO, Sam Harma said the forum will provide local businesses with the information and tools that can help them tackle some of the challenges they have faced this year, and ways to take advantage of the predicted growth in our communities.

“We have a fantastic line-up of keynote speakers and the advice, insights and expertise they can offer will be incredibly valuable to business owners, managers and employees – no matter what sector they are from,” said Mr Harma.

“It’s a jam-packed day with three main sessions and at the end of each session the presenters will participate in a live and interactive Q&A so the audience has the chance to be involved in the discussions.”

Mr Harma added that the forum will cover a range of topics and include local case studies.

“The day will start with the latest on the economic and commodity scene and an update from the local tourism industry which will be followed by presentations on digital marketing, technology, HR considerations, strategies for mitigating risk, the power of brand advocates and future planning for your business.

“Federal Member for Calare, and Minister for Decentralisation, Andrew Gee is our guest speaker and I’m also really looking forward to hearing from some of our local business owners including Pip Brett from JUMBLED, Pete Gerber from Pioneer Brewing and Heifer Station’s Michelle Stivens.

“It’s going to be a great day and I encourage anyone interested to get a ticket while they are still available!”

The 2020 Backing Business Forum wouldn’t be possible without the support of the event sponsors, including Orange City Council, NBN Co, Central NSW Business HQ and Newcrest Mining’s Cadia Valley Operations.

Tickets are $30 and still on sale and can be purchased online through eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/backing-business-forum-tickets-122921715159 

COVID-19 restrictions apply and measures will be put in place to ensure the safety of all participants.

For further information visit the RDA Central West website or contact the office on (02) 6369 1600 or by emailing grants@rdacentralwest.org.au


Steve Semmens, The Persuader, will Emcee the 2020 Backing Business Forum, and Wayne Sunderland and his team of advisors from Business HQ will be available throughout the day.


  • Toby Mandl, Rabobank – An Overview: Economic Insights & Commodity Snapshot
  • Caddie Marshall, Orange360 – Tourism Overview: Understanding Customer Expectations & Future Trends
  • Rich Evans, Central West Media – Digital Marketing: Making the Most Social Media
  • Craig Murphy, Performance IT – Technology in Business: Adapting & Advantages of Change
  • Gavin Williams, NBN Co – Digital Connectivity: Access to High Speed Broadband for Businesses in Regional Australia


  • Graeme Hay, Barrack Broking – Understanding Risk: Strategies for Mitigating Risk in Your Business
  • Joel Connolly, Blackbird Ventures– Building a Community: The Power of Brand Advocates
  • Tamara James, Pulse HR – Human Resources: The Importance of Workplace Culture
  • Weston Ryan, pmwPlus Future – Business Transition: Planning for the Future


  • Andrew Gee MP, Minister for Decentralisation – Decentralisation: The Opportunities for Regional Australia & the Central West
  • James Lloyd, Ribbon Gang – Starting a Business: The Entrepreneurial Mindset & Delivering on a Vision
  • Pip Brett, Jumbled – The Pip Brett Story
  • Pete Gerber, Pioneer Brewing – From the Paddock to the Can
  • Michelle Stivens, Heifer Station – More than a Vineyard